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Test Gods


Meet the astronauts leading the way to a new world of space travel. When Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, the goal was simple: to offer civilian space travel by the end of the decade. Fifteen years, a dozen delays and one catastrophic rocket crash later, we are on the verge of space tourism becoming a reality. Nicholas Schmidle has witnessed the fall and rise of Virgin Galactic first-hand. Over the last five years, he has spent thousands of hours at Virgin’s ‘spaceport’ in the Mojave desert, befriending the pilots who are risking their lives to make space tourism a reality. Now, Schmidle offers the definitive inside story of the individuals building this new world of commercial space travel.

In stock


‘Masterly’ New York Times
‘Riveting’ Scott Kelly
‘Remarkable’ The Times

When Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, his goal was simple: to offer paying customers a trip to space by the end of the decade. Seventeen years, countless delays, and one catastrophic crash later, his space tourism dream may finally be on the verge of reality.

Now, a New Yorker journalist offers the definitive portrait of the adventurers leading the way to the stars. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews with Virgin’s lead test pilot, Mark Stucky, Test Gods describes the making of a modern astronaut: from starry-eyed youth to NASA, the Air Force, and Virgin Galactic; and through dozens of gruelling test flights to his first successful trip beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

The result is the most vivid exploration of an astronaut’s inner life since Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff. It offers an intimate and unique insight into the new space race.

Additional information

Weight 0.245 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.1 cm










387.8092273 (edition:23)


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